Three Broody Hens in The Chicken House

Three of my hens have gone broody and are sitting on eggs. One of them even hatched out a chick.

For those of you who do know, broody means a hen has gone into a mothering mode and is sitting on some eggs.  The eggs are called a clutch.  Some chicken breeds go broody more than others, and some breeds rarely if ever go broody.

What gets me:

Two of the hens are Barred Rocks, which rarely go broody.

One is an Australorp, which has a reputation of going broody.

My first set of chickens was back around 1987 or 1988. My wife and I butchered out that first set of Barred Rocks when they were around two years old, and I did not get any more until 2012.

So in the seven years I have kept chickens, only two barred rocks have gone broody.

My granny kept chickens, but I was just a child and did not pay attention to the details.  My dad told me they kept Rhode Island Reds, Dominickers and several other breeds.

For those who do not know, Barred Rocks and Australorps are old hertiage breeds that have been around for more than 100 years.

Barred Rocks were developed from the Dominique, which was Americas first established chicken breed. The Dominique came from chickens that settlers brought from Europe. Barred Rocks are a good dual purpose breed that can be butchered and are decent egg layers. They are not “great” egg layers, but they are good.

Australorps were developed in Australia sometime in the late 1800s or very early 1900s. They go broody and are good egg layers.

Barred Rocks and Australorps are about the same size.

It seems like an odd time of year for a hen to go broody. Winter is about to set in and the chicks will need special attention.  If nothing else, I have a screened in chicken house with wooden walls that has a heat lamp the hen and chicks can be moved to.